View Full Version : Closing Lake Hefner For Filming



OKCTalker
05-13-2013, 12:51 PM
The movie "Rudderless" is being filmed on Lake Hefner, and the lake has been closed for public use for the better part of a week. It was apparently closed last Saturday, May 11, and will remain closed to public use until sometime later this week (I've heard various days from various people).

I'm amazed at this. I can see closing a downtown street for a day or two of filming, usually on the weekend so as not to disrupt businesses, and with adequate notice give by road signs and the like. But closing Lake Hefner for almost a week, essentially without notice? Who gets to do that, who approves it, how much does it cost, and how is the public notified?

mkjeeves
05-13-2013, 01:07 PM
I have similar questions, particularly with the Canton water release as mentioned in that thread. If I had the time I would like to see what one might find in the correspondence between the production company, the State Film Office and the OKC water resources department. Not that anything outside the law happened, just that the issue of timing for the release may not all be what has been said by those involved.

But it happens a lot with movie making and public property. They shut down city streets and all kinds of stuff for the right people in other cities.

Here's some of what we advertise:

Quick Facts:

Population: 551,789 (Oklahoma City)
Elevation: 1,201’
Oklahoma County
Proximity to Tulsa: 104 miles
Proximity to Dallas: 200 miles
Local Airports: Will Rogers World Airport (OKC); Wiley Post Airport (PWA); Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport (F29)
Located on I-35, I-40, I-44
Revitalized downtown includes Bricktown area with canal and river taxis, similar to San Antonio’s Riverwalk
Wild west theme park Frontier City
Third largest city in the nation in land area
Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer makes daily runs to Fort Worth
Stately 1920’s mansions
Stockyards City includes world’s largest stocker/feeder cattle market and Cattleman’s Steakhouse, established 1910
Spanish-style architecture featured in Paseo District
Five lakes within metropolitan area: Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser, Lake Stanley Draper, Arcadia Lake, Lake Thunderbird
Professional sports teams: Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA), Oklahoma City Barons (AHL); Oklahoma Redhawks (AAA baseball)
U.S. Olympic Diving Training Center
Remington Park state-of-the-art racetrack with thoroughbred and quarter horse racing.
State Fair Speedway, one of the premier dirt tracks in the nation
Major events include Festival of the Arts, Chuck Wagon Gathering and Child’s Cowboy Festival, Red Earth American Indian Festival, Libertyfest (one of the nation’s top 10 July 4th celebrations)
Luxury accommodations: Waterford Marriott, Grandison Inn, Montford Inn Bed & Breakfast (Norman), Arcadian Inn Bed & Breakfast (Edmond)
Arcadia Round Barn, 1898 Route 66 landmark, only wooden round barn in the state
More than 10 university and college campuses
Edmond was named one of America’s Top Four Hometown’s by ABC’s The View
Metropolitan area includes Edmond, Norman, Bethany, Yukon, Moore

Oklahoma Film & Music Office - Oklahoma City (http://www.ok.gov/oklahomafilm/FILMING_IN_OKLAHOMA/COMMUNITY_PROFILES/CENTRAL_OKLAHOMA/Oklahoma_City.html)

Anonymous.
05-13-2013, 01:08 PM
I heard on the radio that they were out there this past weekend and the public was still able to use the lake. In fact, it seemed to be encouraged.

mkjeeves
05-13-2013, 01:12 PM
The public ramp, docks and dry storage by the golf course are closed. There are signs up, barricades with security keeping people out. There are support tents and trailers, a set and a temporary heli-pad there. The trails are open and people were using them. We drove right to the edge of the water next to Hobie point and people were fishing there Sunday.

OKCTalker
05-13-2013, 01:22 PM
A kayak company was going to hold a class Saturday morning and told that they weren't allowed on the lake. They were threatened with either fines or arrest if they launched. The owner of the kayak company pays an annual permit to the city to hold classes at Hefner, and he wasn't given any advance notification.

mkjeeves
05-13-2013, 01:24 PM
A kayak company was going to hold a class Saturday morning and told that they weren't allowed on the lake. They were threatened with either fines or arrest if they launched.

I saw where they were told the lake was closed and where boat owners with boats in slips were also notified. I assume all the ramps were closed and private boats were not allowed but we didn't go by the boat club area or windsurfer point.

MikeLucky
05-13-2013, 01:30 PM
I was at the lake yesterday for dinner and it was nothing short of bustling... LOTS of boats and people... I DID notice that a couple of entrances off of the dam road were blocked and monitored by the OKC PD. I'm guessing that was the area that was closed. But, there was NOTHING other than those one or two entrances that were anything but open as normal as far as I could see.

mkjeeves
05-13-2013, 01:35 PM
There were more sailboats than I can remember on that lake in a long time. We watched a chopper launch with a camera man sitting in the door with his feet on the skids too. I would be amazed if the boats were all part of the filming, extras and actors all brought in and controlled, but I suppose it could and does happen.

Yeah. Other than the roadblocks at the entrances to the docks and a sign nailed up on a telephone pole by that area, it was pretty open. The usual number of people were on the trails.

mkjeeves
05-13-2013, 01:46 PM
This was south of the golf course clubhouse looking towards the clubhouse. It wasn't stopping people from using that trail.

http://imageshack.us/a/img560/4113/closedix.jpg

Inquiringmind
05-13-2013, 09:11 PM
The lake is far from open. Only the blue blood sailboat crew has access to the lake to boat. Boats in the marina can't be used as it is closed, as are all of the public boat ramps. Once again the average Joe pays full price for their permits and then have days taken away by good ole boy elites.

Bill Robertson
05-14-2013, 06:44 AM
I've had a boat in the marina for years. We received letters a few weeks ago that the marina area was going to be closed from the 11th to the 17th. So there was notification. Also, the letter said that we could present the letter to the officer controlling the drive and we would be allowed access to our boats as long as it would not interfere with filming. I went by Sunday and was let in to check on my boat. No big problem here.

Inquiringmind
05-14-2013, 08:12 AM
I've had a boat in the marina for years. We received letters a few weeks ago that the marina area was going to be closed from the 11th to the 17th. So there was notification. Also, the letter said that we could present the letter to the officer controlling the drive and we would be allowed access to our boats as long as it would not interfere with filming. I went by Sunday and was let in to check on my boat. No big problem here.

Big big difference in checking your boat and using it. Permits are use taxes and those that paid for permits were knowingly charged this tax and were not told at the time of purchase that they would not be able to use the lake.

Bellaboo
05-14-2013, 08:49 AM
The lake is far from open. Only the blue blood sailboat crew has access to the lake to boat. Boats in the marina can't be used as it is closed, as are all of the public boat ramps. Once again the average Joe pays full price for their permits and then have days taken away by good ole boy elites.

If I remember right, due to the low water, the marina charges were either waived or reduced this year ?

Bill Robertson
05-14-2013, 09:52 AM
If I remember right, due to the low water, the marina charges were either waived or reduced this year ?This is true. We are not being charged for our wet slip rentals this year.

OKCTalker
05-14-2013, 10:12 AM
SoonerSoftail - You received a notice because you keep a boat at the marina, but I've not heard of anyone else receiving similar notification. There may be exceptions, but clearly only a tiny fraction of people who use the lake were notified. I don't think that even the Friends of Lake Hefner knew about this. Putting up a few signs doesn't cut it.

By comparison, the annual Redman Triathlon is the largest event regularly held at Lake Hefner. Signs go up weeks in advance. During the event athletes swim in a portion of the lake in the early morning, ride their bikes only on the dam between the NE parking lot and Britton Road to the west (not all the way around) later in the morning, and run their marathon on the east side in the afternoon and into the evening. They don't have exclusive right to the lake, and they are present for only a few days for setup, the event and teardown. Hundreds of athletes come to OKC and buy meals, stay in hotels, etc. Best of all for citizens and other visitors, no-one is denied access to the lake. I assume that Redman pays a permit fee and the costs of law enforcement and signage.

But for "Rudderless," minimal notification was provided, they have been granted exclusive use of the lake for most of a week, and no-one seems to know how or why. So back to my original questions:

- Who else can be granted exclusive, multi-day access to the lake?
- What is the application process and who approves it?
- How much does the applicant pay to the city?
- Does the applicant reimburse the city for law enforcement, signage, notification, etc?
- What were all of the ways in which the public was notified?

Richard at Remax
05-14-2013, 10:32 AM
Golf course isn't closed. I played there on Saturday and Monday

MikeLucky
05-14-2013, 12:21 PM
Wow... sure a lot of fist pounding and foot stamping for an issue, that with a few small exceptions, isn't a big deal whatsoever. In fact this forum is mainly comprised with the bulk of the people I would consider mindful enough to even care about an issue of this nature, and even here it's drawing a pretty resounding "eh."

The fact is things like having films made in your city is a GOOD THING. Maybe we gave them a little bit of defference... just like we did Devon and Bass Pro and pretty much any other endeavor that the city feels can actually be an overall positive for the city. By the sound of it, there was a few days of inconvenience to show for it. Seems pretty inconsequential in my eyes.

Bill Robertson
05-14-2013, 01:09 PM
SoonerSoftail - You received a notice because you keep a boat at the marina, but I've not heard of anyone else receiving similar notification. There may be exceptions, but clearly only a tiny fraction of people who use the lake were notified. I don't think that even the Friends of Lake Hefner knew about this. Putting up a few signs doesn't cut it.

Friends of Lake Hefner had to know. It was started and is still pretty much kept going by members of the Lake Hefner Boat Owners Association. Many, if not most, of the active members are wet slip and/or dry dock renters. If the members who were notified didn't pass it along then bad on them.

OKCTalker
05-14-2013, 01:18 PM
Yes, I understand that we need to grow our film industry, and Jill Simpson and others are doing a great job with that. I totally support the occasional closure of streets and inconveniencing of citizens in order to give film makers a venue. And when OKC is credited as the location, we all benefit. Also, everyone can live without using Lake Hefner for a week, whether they be boaters, cyclists, runners or people simply taking a walk.

My problem is with the process in what appears to be unprecedented, exclusive and largely unannounced access to our city's most popular, multi-use lake for a week, and at a net hard cost to the city. If Jim Couch or Mick Cornett says, "Yes, I gave them exclusive access for a week - at no charge - and paid for signage, notification to some lake users, and the city bore the cost of uniformed police officers," then that's fine. But let someone say that. So far it's been crickets.

And I'm not the only person here who raises the visibility of an issue that many others don't care at all about. Steve has repeatedly complained about a single, partially-blocked sidewalk downtown, and I don't think he's finished.

Inquiringmind
05-16-2013, 10:37 AM
According to the Oklahoma Wildlife weekly fishing report, "All boat ramps and the marina area are closed until 5 p.m. on May 17 due to a special event. So those who bought boating permits will be excluded from the entire lake for another day. You would think that the City could have required the movie company to build another ramp elsewhere on the lake so that the citizens could use their lake while the movie company did their filming. Does not seem like to bad of a request but average Joe citizen boater was never taken into consideration, just thrown under the bus because they are the smallest likely group to be affected. Typical good ole boy OKC gooberment.

MikeLucky
05-16-2013, 12:24 PM
According to the Oklahoma Wildlife weekly fishing report, "All boat ramps and the marina area are closed until 5 p.m. on May 17 due to a special event.” So those who bought boating permits will be excluded from the entire lake for another day. You would think that the City could have required the movie company to build another ramp elsewhere on the lake so that the citizens could use their lake while the movie company did their filming. Does not seem like to bad of a request but average Joe citizen boater was never taken into consideration, just thrown under the bus because they are the smallest likely group to be affected. Typical good ole boy OKC gooberment.

Wow, the boaters are being SOOOOO victimized here. A whole week without your sailboat?!?! How do they expect civilized people to LIVE LIKE THIS?!?!

OKCTalker
05-16-2013, 12:56 PM
Wow, the boaters are being SOOOOO victimized here. A whole week without your sailboat?!?! How do they expect civilized people to LIVE LIKE THIS?!?!

WichitaSooner -this may not be an important issue to you, but that's no reason for you to be a total asshat to others who care about it, nor is an invitation to attack them. Most on this board keep the conversation on a respectful, adult level. Do your part.

warreng88
05-16-2013, 01:12 PM
I know they put up notices a week or more in advance for the Redman in September and the Memorial Marathon in April as well as many other 5 or 10K's that may start and end at Stars and Stripes park. But, I am curious if they didn't do the same because they didn't want a bunch of gawkers while the film is being shot. I am not saying which way is right or wrong, just asking a question.

Inquiringmind
05-16-2013, 01:25 PM
Wow, the boaters are being SOOOOO victimized here. A whole week without your sailboat?!?! How do they expect civilized people to LIVE LIKE THIS?!?!

Not that high up the pecking order. Just an average Joe fisherman that enjoys going to a lake close to home after work, and a member of a large group that is only thought of when money is needed to buy votes or support the interests of the well healed. If Clay, Aubrey, or Mick enjoyed boating the lake after work accommodations would surely have been required. Be sure and tell them hello for me!

MikeLucky
05-16-2013, 02:04 PM
WichitaSooner -this may not be an important issue to you, but that's no reason for you to be a total asshat to others who care about it, nor is an invitation to attack them. Most on this board keep the conversation on a respectful, adult level. Do your part.

Whaaaaa? That WAS toned down to what I consider "snarky sarcasm." I usually keep all my asshattery to a different forum...


Not that high up the pecking order. Just an average Joe fisherman that enjoys going to a lake close to home after work, and a member of a large group that is only thought of when money is needed to buy votes or support the interests of the well healed. If Clay, Aubrey, or Mick enjoyed boating the lake after work accommodations would surely have been required. Be sure and tell them hello for me!

The rich DO get their way more often than not... Just the way the cookie crumbles. Look, maybe I shouldn't be so critical of how important this issue is to a few folks. I could understand being upset if it were for an extended period, but a week and even a few extra days don't seem like too much of a big deal to me. But, maybe that's just me...

Inquiringmind
05-16-2013, 03:54 PM
With me it is a combination of two things. Being charged a fee covering a period of time and after the fact learning that the period is shorter. This is theft by withholding of information, but theft just the same. The second is the time of the year involved. How many days and or weeks do we have in Oklahoma where the temps are pleasant (not to cold or to hot) from start to finish during daylight hours, not many. I suspect that this along with probably the setting of the flick at issue is why this time period was chosen for filming. I never expect fairness or justice from gooberment, in fact I expect the opposite, but feces tastes like feces whether it is expected or not.

RadicalModerate
05-16-2013, 03:56 PM
According to the Oklahoma Wildlife weekly fishing report, "All boat ramps and the marina area are closed until 5 p.m. on May 17 due to a special event.” So those who bought boating permits will be excluded from the entire lake for another day. You would think that the City could have required the movie company to build another ramp elsewhere on the lake so that the citizens could use their lake while the movie company did their filming. Does not seem like to bad of a request but average Joe citizen boater was never taken into consideration, just thrown under the bus because they are the smallest likely group to be affected. Typical good ole boy OKC gooberment.

You nailed it, amigo.
("amigo" isn't an offensive term, is it?)

(of course, as is also the case with UrbanDowntownDevelopment and Parking, i don't have "a dog in this fight" . . . =)

ljbab728
05-16-2013, 08:55 PM
Other than perhaps little notice, I see nothing wrong or sinister about this issue. I visit LA frequently and I assure you that this happens there all of the time and people are certainly inconvenienced by it. It's just something that Oklahoma City has little experience with.

bluedogok
05-16-2013, 09:17 PM
Just because you pay for a license, slip fee, etc. it does not guarantee you a certain number of days of unfettered use. They are always subject to weather, water or other things that might disrupt use of the lake. When I was sailing there were many times that the lake was not usable because of water levels, that is just a fact of life with that type of facility.

Bill Robertson
05-17-2013, 08:45 AM
Just because you pay for a license, slip fee, etc. it does not guarantee you a certain number of days of unfettered use. They are always subject to weather, water or other things that might disrupt use of the lake. When I was sailing there were many times that the lake was not usable because of water levels, that is just a fact of life with that type of facility.When we renew our slip rentals each year we sign a form stating that we understand and agree to the fact that slips could be rendered unusable for any reason and that refunds will not be made for any reason.

Bill Robertson
05-17-2013, 08:47 AM
I know they put up notices a week or more in advance for the Redman in September and the Memorial Marathon in April as well as many other 5 or 10K's that may start and end at Stars and Stripes park. But, I am curious if they didn't do the same because they didn't want a bunch of gawkers while the film is being shot. I am not saying which way is right or wrong, just asking a question.There were signs posted around the marina area for a few days prior to the closing. The marina area, and maybe Hobie point, are the only areas that were affected.

Inquiringmind
05-17-2013, 08:52 AM
Acts of God (weather and water level) are one thing. Complete closure for a planned special event with no attempt at accommodation is another.

At least the hostage siege has ended and boaters may now use Hefner. Hopefully gooberment will require accomodations from the next "special event".

OKCTalker
05-17-2013, 09:03 AM
There were signs posted around the marina area for a few days prior to the closing. The marina area, and maybe Hobie point, are the only areas that were affected.

Kayakers were told that they could not launch. They operate from Hobie Point, just west of S&S. OKC Kayak pays an annual permit to use Hefner, but had to move all activities to other lakes. Caught flatfooted.

MikeLucky
05-17-2013, 01:13 PM
Still think this is a complete non-starter... I'm envious of the people that are actually concerned about this. I wish that my life was so devoid of drama and problems that something like THIS could get me fired up. lol

OKCisOK4me
05-17-2013, 09:13 PM
Still think this is a complete non-starter... I'm envious of the people that are actually concerned about this. I wish that my life was so devoid of drama and problems that something like THIS could get me fired up. lol

No freaking doubt...it's over yesterday.

Tydude
05-17-2013, 09:48 PM
the lake is back open they had it until 5:00 tonight and then they had to leave so we have access to the lake now

Achilleslastand
02-04-2015, 06:07 PM
Just watched Rudderless and in all honesty didnt recognize Lake Hefner at all.
Sad...

TheTravellers
02-05-2015, 12:35 PM
Just watched Rudderless and in all honesty didnt recognize Lake Hefner at all.
Sad...

We saw the film and we recognized it. :D